Endless Thai cycle
Six years ago, with violence on the streets, [the kind that is] normally stopped by police in other countries, the military decided not only to stop the aggression but to take over the government.
They did this in the name of someone with no experience or qualifications for governing a country.
At present we are almost back to where we were then, protests (but at least not violent) and the country in two opposing groups. If Prayut steps down who is going to take over, is the big cry.
Can it really be true that in a country with over 60 million and the younger generation getting university education, that Thailand has no one capable of running the country? I don't believe it for one minute.
We may not know her/his name but surely there are decent and honest people well suited to accomplish the job that a military general found too difficult.
Write it yourselves
I understand the reasoning behind the current student protests. There are aspects of this government that need to be addressed. This condition, though, is global.
There is no "perfect" government anywhere -- if there was, then it would become a model for all to follow.
I teach my children that there are basically two types of people: complainers and doers.
Anyone can complain and whine about something. It is a rare individual that acts on their complaint by suggesting and implementing a solution.
Since the students are demanding a rewrite of the constitution, how about putting their energy, resources and intelligence into drafting one themselves?
"Walk your talk", as they say. Stop protesting for a moment and actually "do" what you are demanding of others.
As a teacher, this would be a great experiential exercise for them and a wonderful taste of the reality of adulthood.
They hopefully would learn that governance is not easy and gain a greater appreciation for trying to herd cats.
Sure you want it?
Ye Olde Pedagogue in his Oct 29 letter makes an interesting point about people's uprisings and the outcomes.
Oliver Cromwell wasn't everyone's mug of ale when he deposed Charles I in the UK. He was considerably less popular when he banned Christmas and ultimately the people welcomed a bloodless coup d'etat that put a benevolent and constitutional queen and king on the thrown.
Of course I could put it more succinctly: be careful what you wish for.
Re: "Lesson from history", (PostBag, Oct 29).
During the reign of the Shah of Iran, I was a steward, (today known as a flight attendant) for a major airline that flew into Tehran on a weekly basis. I enjoyed every moment of my layover in Iran back then. I toured extensively, visited bazaars, Persepolis, enjoyed the cuisine, but best of all, made countless friends with whom I still communicate, although circumspectly, now.
I understand the letter writer's final paragraph where he says:"Under the Shah we had everything. Now we have nothing." Totally free speech was guarded, with the SAVAK [secret police] looking for dissidents, but nearly all the Iranians I ever met were carefree, happy people, who enjoyed life. However, I never found the Iranians to be serious adherents to any religion, other than giving much of it lip service. Every religious community, including Iran's large Jewish community, one of the largest outside Israel and one of the oldest in the world, enjoyed rights, freedoms and liberties back then.
Today, Iran is a scary place run by religious fanatics, and anyone who does not toe the line is in danger of being imprisoned or hanged. A lesson in history also teaches that no repressive regime or government lasts forever.
An unmissable show
I hope the world appreciates the Greatest Show on Earth, which we Americani barbari are offering up free on Nov 3.
Assessing the scene with impeccable objectivity, I behold a Manichaean spectacle. Here the shining knights of the Bright Side are arrayed against the satanic gangsters of the Dark Side. Not since World War II have we seen such a clear-cut clash between good and evil.
In one corner we have Joe Biden, the silver-haired champion of moderation, rationality and the Path of Righteousness. In the opposite corner we have Donald Trump, Lucifer in a business suit: a man of constantly flapping mouth, oozing toxins from every pore, the very incarnation of his role model, Jabba the Hutt.
Which side will win? Stay tuned for the exciting climax, folks.
We really should charge admission.
Evil to the core
Here is my gloomy prediction for the upcoming US elections. Since surveys show that most people voting by absentee ballot are Democrats and most people who will be voting in person on election day are Republicans, Donald Trump may be ahead on election night. When the votes being counted after election day start to favour Biden, I have no doubt Trump will shout fraud. Even worse he'll use his Twitter account to stir up violent demonstrations.
I've seen a lot of presidents come and go in my lifetime -- some I liked and some I despised. But I've never seen one that is as thoroughly evil to the core as this one.
No reason to moan
Re: "A bit late for this", (PostBag, Oct 28), and the government's offer to grant permanent residency to foreigners based on condo ownership, I'm sure that it would come at a price, i.e. the same as has always been charged for permanent residency applications and the same conditions as exist now, including a smattering of Thai-language capability. The writer complains that permanent residency has never been offered to him despite having built and lived in two houses with his Thai wife for 23 years. The fact is that permanent residency has always been on offer to those who qualify, i.e. based on business reasons, or marital status with a Thai national. You have always been free to apply. The latest "offering" is simply an additional basis for qualifying. I've been through the process myself and it's really quite straightforward.
Putin the pragmatist
Re: "Why Putin may still be betting on Trump", (Opinion, Oct 24).
US foreign policy today is inconsistent, politicised, partisan, deeply divided and ideologically driven as it ever was in history. Russian foreign policy is pragmatic both in form and in nature, realistic and bipartisan. Therefore, no matter who wins the elections, the general approach of the Russian foreign policy will remain intact and aimed at improving US-Russian relations. While the Russian president may have certain preferences (after all, as stated by Mr Putin himself, four years ago he supported Mr. Trump because he suggested normalisation of bilateral ties) no one in Russia really bets on anyone in the US since only American citizens can decide the outcome of the presidential race on Nov 3.
I have a prepaid SIM card with TrueMove-H. I keep getting unsolicited SMS messages and spam from internet services. Every time I get one of these messages or spam, I am being charged for them. True Move will not reimburse me for these charges.
I have explained this to True Move several times and it seems that there is no real fix. I really cannot get a straightforward answer from True.
Can somebody please explain if this is legal, and, if not, why the phone provider is not doing something to correct the problem?
To me it is out-and-out robbery, my having to pay for these unsolicited messages.
Can I assume that the phone company is complicit in all this, as, otherwise, how do the spammers get any financial gain, unless they are being paid by the phone company.
I also resent having to pay to call True Move customer service number 1242! Not very good customer relations, to say the least.
I have blocked SMS messages but it seems to be a very temporary fix only. One suggestion from an employee of True, was to just to not keep any balance on my SIM!
I was at a loss for words.
A truly unhappy True customer
Sorry for the distress
On Oct 2, a newborn infant was found in a trash can, concealed in a plastic bag and buried under garbage, at Hamad International Airport (HIA), Qatar. The baby girl was rescued and is now safe under medical care in Doha.
This was the first instance of an abandoned infant being discovered in such a condition at HIA -- this egregious and life-threatening violation of the law triggered an immediate search for the parents, including on flights in the vicinity of where the newborn was found. While the aim of the urgently decided search was to prevent the perpetrators of the horrible crime from escaping, the State of Qatar regrets any distress or infringement on the personal freedoms of any traveller caused by this action.
Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani, Qatar's Prime Minister and Minister of Interior has directed that a comprehensive, transparent investigation into the incident be conducted. The results of the investigation will be shared with our international partners.
The State of Qatar remains committed to ensuring the safety, security and comfort of all travellers transiting through the country.
Embassy of the state of QATAR
Not a cure-all
William Hazeltine, of the Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, writes for Forbes magazine: "We all expect an effective vaccine to prevent serious illness if infected. Three of the vaccine protocols -- Moderna, Pfizer, and AstraZeneca -- do not require that their vaccines prevent serious disease, only that they prevent moderate symptoms which may be as mild as cough, or headache."
Therefore these vaccines will likely not reduce the rate of infection or mortality from Covid-19 disease in a significant way.
The Thai government has stated it intends to use AstraZeneca's vaccine. The Public Health Ministry should reconsider its decision.
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